About the MHA Skills Community

In 2015, Midlands Highways Alliance achieved accreditation by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) as the Client Based Skills Academy.

What is the Client Based Approach?

The CITB has worked with the construction industry to draw up a guide to the number of skills outputs that could be applied to particular types and values of construction projects. This is called the Client based Approach. The guidance includes benchmarks to provide developers with confidence that their employment and skills requirements are both proportionate and achievable. They are set across Construction, Repairs and Maintenance and Highways projects.

The Midlands Highways Alliance (MHA) Skills Academy has a broad remit, which includes offering construction/highways specific learning and development opportunities, improved access to approved training schemes, in conjunction with partners such as Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Transport Planning Society (TPS).

The Academy will assist in building the capacity and capability of the existing workforce to help address the skills shortages that the construction industry is anticipating. Enhancing training and employment opportunities and working with others will inspire a diverse range of talented people to join the construction industry.

Activities include community and school engagement projects including the ‘Bridge to Schools’ programme, which is organised in collaboration with ICE and the MHA Framework contractors. Other activities include STEM Ambassador training.

The six framework contractors, the MHA authorities, the professional services consultants as well as professional bodies work collaboratively with the Skills Academy to provide opportunities to build the skills of their staff, the supply chain and the local community.

Supporting the Client Based Approach includes the completion of an Employment and Skills Plan (ESP). This forms part of the delivery of a strategy that boosts skills, and ensures that construction projects support the development of initiatives to meet training needs and address skills gaps. We have based this approach on national best practice and are delighted to be working in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

The construction industry is enthusiastic about this approach and keen to ensure we all work collaboratively to develop the next generation of skilled staff.

An ESP will be completed each eligible scheme on the MHA Framework (target price over £1M). This plan sets out how they will support skills development across 14 different activity areas.